Leaders of the largest economies in the world and international development experts met in Frankfurt in March to discuss how to implement climate smart financial inclusion policies and practices to benefit micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the agricultural sector.
The consultations were organized by the German Development Ministry (BMZ), as Germany currently holds the G20 presidency, and the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI). This partnership brings together central banks of G20 countries that have an ‘inclusion’ mandate to increase access to credit and financial services to all, including rural entrepreneurs and the poor. IFAD and the World Bank are also part of the GPFI initiative.
Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) and CIMMYT’s 10-year MasAgro (Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture) partnership was among the four case studies presented to the workshop participants, as an example of a research and development strategy that can incorporate climate smart financing solutions.
The question on everybody’s lips was, how can financial inclusion measures targeted at farmers and rural businesses, such as diesel subsidies or loans for buying machinery, seeds or fertilizer, become climate-smart? said Victor Kommerell, program manager of the CIMMYT-led CGIAR Research Program WHEAT.
Workshop participants showed great interest in MasAgro’s innovation network of networks approach, its farmer-validated and climate-smart agriculture technologies, in how these innovations are scaled up and out, and in CIMMYT’s leadership for developing public – private partnerships, added Kommerell. “Participants were also impressed by the Mexican government’s long-term commitment.”
The workshop laid the foundations for drafting an enabling policy framework paper at the Annual GPFI forum held in Berlin, from 2 – 3 May, 2017. The Forum may endorse a pilot project in a MasAgro hub, which would investigate strategies on how to make crop index-based insurance widely available and used by Mexican farmers in combination with other financial products, and would also find out how climate-smart the financial products are over time.